Recent New York Times Article Discusses the Slow Cost Growth of the Mental Health Sector of the Economy

Posted on Jul 25, 2013

A recent New York Times's article, "Most U.S. Health Spending Is Exploding — but Not for Mental Health" summarizes a recent article from Health Affairs. Some interesting takeaways from this article:

  • Mental health treatment costs not out of control like medical costs;
  • Mental health spending remained 1% of the US economy from 1986 to 2006 while total health spending jumped from 10% of US GDP in 1986 to 17% of US GDP in 2009
  • The 5 most costly health conditions from 1996 to 2006-heart, cancer, trauma related conditions, asthma and mental health
  • Out of these 5 conditions, more Americans had costs for mental health treatment but the average expenditure per person during 1996 to 2006 went down for mental health and heart. For the other three conditions, cancer, trauma related conditions, and asthma; costs increased per person.

So, what is holding costs down in the mental health sector of the economy? The article hypothesizes the expiration of patents on psychiatric drugs like Prozac and the shortage of inpatient beds.

If you or someone you know is having difficulty working because of a mental illness, please contact Cuddigan Law for a free evaluation of your claim. You can call us at 402-933-5405 or fill out the contact form on this page

Sean D. Cuddigan
SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska